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Apple rumored to be in talks to acquire German HDTV maker Loewe - Page 4

post #121 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

if it's true that Apple is now just in talks about buying a TV maker does anyone think this TV is close to being ready? I guess if it's just for production it could be but typically Apple buys companies for their IP and talent and it's years before anything come to market.

Seeing as their panels will likely be made by Sharp it doesn't look like this is a patent acquisition, but rather, a talent/knowledge acquisition.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #122 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

As a longtime B&O (but not any more) purchaser, I think they've totally lost it.

Splain it to me?

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #123 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


Its near impossible for Apple to compete with cable on content because of vertical integration. Lots of channels are now own by cable companies. In canada its even worst, almost all of the stations and channels are own by Cable or DSL companies.
Btw where I live we have a la carte programming. We dont have to buy the tv packages. This trend may spread so dont give up hope on that.

If Apple wants to compete with cable they could simply buy Dish Network or Direct TV. Dish has the advantage of valuable spectrum that the telecoms are drooling over.

post #124 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by shmt View Post

A quick query in the German patent databases reveals that Loewe Opta AG indeed holds or has applied to some patents that you would consider as necessary for the kind of products Apple is likely to offer when entering the telly market. I'm not at all an expert in patent matters, though.

The stuff is all in German, you might find equivalent applications at the European Patent office in English.

DE102009059281B4 covers the communication between an "entertainment electronics device" and a "communication electronics device", so basically your telly and your iOS device. EED sends EPG data to the CED (apparently via an intermediary device), nicely wrapped in XML; CED with touch control allows you to navigate, browse the program, probably preview (hard to decipher that patent lingo) and control the EED by pushing the symbol for the show you want to see towards the telly (which somehow knows the CED's location). 

DE102010038159A1 covers "displays with adjustable transparency" (as an "Offenlegungsschrift", document of disclosure, it's not a granted patent yet, though). The display is characterised by: transparent liquid crystals; organic diodes (OLEDs); polarizer to control intensity of light going through the transparent display; ability to control transparency for specific light waves lengths (allows adjustment to different environments); and some more stuff.

EP000002249559A3 covers regular expressions for EPGs. 

A three docs were published in 2012. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

 

I think your summed this debate up best here ...

 

"I'm not sure what Apple is going to perfect or what Jobs thought he cracked."

 

To which I'd say ... "Exactly!"

 

I am sure the exact same comment was made pre iPhone and iPad from those already familiar with the then current phone and tablet markets.

 

My point is it may well be a lot of fun and enlightening when we see it (what ever it is)...  having said that of course even when we see it (assuming there is an it) most won't 'get it' at first just as they didn't with iPhone and iPad and heck I could add GUI to that mix back in 1984 ...  "What use is a mouse?"  

 

 

We have AT&T U-verse.  When we use the god-awful remote and UI to change programs here's what happens:

1) I set down the iPad I normally have in my lap and try to find, then pick up, the U-verse remote.

2) I press the "favorites" or some other buttons to try and navigate the butt-ugly UI.

3) A series of text screens are shown on the TV, sometimes with a small picture-in-picture showing a preview of a potential selection.4)

4) whatever show is currently playing continues to play in the background.

 

So, basicly, the U-verse STB is streaming two separate concurrent streams to the HDTV:  1) the current "show" in the background;  2) the "navigation UI" overlay in the foreground.

 

I suspect that other cable and satellite STBs work in a similar manner.

 

 

What Loewe apparently has done is put some intelligence in its HDTV to recognize and separate these two streams and:

 

1) continue playing the current show on the HDTV.

 

2) communicate the navigation information to/from an iPad (WiFi, BT?) where a much better touch navigation system is presented.

 

 

In effect, the Loewe intelligence acts as a separate logical "UI box" positioned between the  carrier STB and the HDTV.

 

That is exactly the "position" needed to "crack" the TV UI problem -- "the last foot".

 

The beauty of all this is that the "logical UI box" can be built into the TV or can be a separate  physical box like the AppleTV:

 

---> cable signal--->carrier STB-->AppleTV--->HDTV

 

instead of the current, unmanageable:

 

---> cable signal--->carrier STB--->HDTV

                            |

                           +--->AppleTV--->HDTV

 

 

Now, that has real potential!

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post #125 of 135

 Deleted


Edited by Sol77 - 5/13/12 at 11:44am
post #126 of 135

Moment of Serendipity: My daughter looked at the two minute brand history ad and remarked with their modern model that it looks like a Mac.

post #127 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Splain it to me?

Have you purchased any of their newer products? Which one? Do you like it?

And, what's up with their remotes -- makes the cable company's look like Apple's, by comparison.
post #128 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_b View Post

 

I would like to see Apple purchase TiVo and build a great DVR. 

 

That is the idea that has been in my mind since the Apple "iTV" rumors started. That, along with a solid partnership with Time Warner or some other major content providers. Purchasing Tivo would probably cost Apple in the range of $1.5 billion. But it has a profit margin very similar to Apple's (around 40%). Even if Apple just operated it as a standalone business, until they could better integrate and improve its functionality, it would still be a winner. Even if the Apple "iTV" never takes off (or flops), they'd have a solid performer in their portfolio.

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post #129 of 135
Dick Applebaum has an interesting idea there. The PIP is sent to the iPad, and it could be either another channel or the navigation UI.

Is it "The Crack"? Does Loewe have the patent Apple needs?

Edit: Reading the denial, there's maybe nothing to it. But why would someone float this story to AI in the first place? Very strange.
Edited by Flaneur - 5/13/12 at 1:31pm
post #130 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag_Warrior View Post

 

That is the idea that has been in my mind since the Apple "iTV" rumors started. That, along with a solid partnership with Time Warner or some other major content providers. Purchasing Tivo would probably cost Apple in the range of $1.5 billion. But it has a profit margin very similar to Apple's (around 40%). Even if Apple just operated it as a standalone business, until they could better integrate and improve its functionality, it would still be a winner. Even if the Apple "iTV" never takes off (or flops), they'd have a solid performer in their portfolio.

I'm sorry, but a DVR would be a fail. While Tivo does a nice job, they have been supplanted by, admitedly, inferior DVR's provided by Cable companies, but I feel purchasing Tivo would only grant them Patents and nothing more. I think in order to control the experience they need to buy the distribution channel, I.E. Dish Network, as I mentioned above. Apple needs to be able to remove the cable box equation. They can do some of that with a Tivo like approach to your cable based subscription, but you would still need the cable box. I'm looking to declutter and remove remotes and boxes.

 

Purchasing Dish would allow them to serve two purposes. No more leasing boxes. The Apple TVs would then become the tuners for other TVs in the house and deliver access to teh same content.

post #131 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post

If Apple wants to be a content provider and compete with cable then they would simply buy Dish Network or Direct TV. Dish has valuable spectrum that Apple could use as leverage with the telecoms or use it themselves.

They could but I see two problems.
It would tick of the content providers that are owned by cableco's.

Direct tv market cap is around 32B. Add in a premium for a buyout plus the run up in stock that price could end up being close to 50 billion.

So Apple could afford it but what if many content providers jump ship? That is not something easily overcome.
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post #132 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post

If Apple wants to be a content provider and compete with cable then they would simply buy Dish Network or Direct TV. Dish has valuable spectrum that Apple could use as leverage with the telecoms or use it themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

They could but I see two problems.
It would tick of the content providers that are owned by cableco's.
Direct tv market cap is around 32B. Add in a premium for a buyout plus the run up in stock that price could end up being close to 50 billion.
So Apple could afford it but what if many content providers jump ship? That is not something easily overcome.

I don't know that Apple wants or needs to become a content provider in competition with the cablecos. Rather, Apple wants to integrate cable programming into the Apple TV user experience.

To accomplish that, Apple needs to replace the cable STB or come between the cable STB and the HDTV.

But, the cable companies consider Apple to be a competitor. Apple can change that by solving the cable companys' biggest problem: bandwidth... Including the last mile into the home. By reducing bandwidth, the cablecos can sell more content to more subscribers for more money.

Suppose Apple has a solution where they can deliver the same quality content at 10% of the bandwidth, or higher-quality content at, say, 20% of the bandwidth? Do you think the cablecos would be interested in that? Especially if it didn't cost them anything other than playing nicely with Apple? And, it delivered a superior user experience for the customer?

The solution that I am thinking about involves:

1) an efficient high compression codec

2) a hardware chip (and supporting software/firmware) to efficiently encode and decode the codec

Existing content would have to be re-encoded using the new codec -- a one-time conversion.

Live or new content would be encoded at the time of broadcast or creation.

Nothing would need to be changed between the broadcast source and the broadcast destination: the Apple TV (or HDTV or other STB) -- the digital data would just be compressed to 10%-20% of its current size.

Dictated on my new iPad.
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post #133 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I don't know that Apple wants or needs to become a content provider in competition with the cablecos. Rather, Apple wants to integrate cable programming into the Apple TV user experience.
To accomplish that, Apple needs to replace the cable STB or come between the cable STB and the HDTV.
But, the cable companies consider Apple to be a competitor. Apple can change that by solving the cable companys' biggest problem: bandwidth... Including the last mile into the home. By reducing bandwidth, the cablecos can sell more content to more subscribers for more money.
Suppose Apple has a solution where they can deliver the same quality content at 10% of the bandwidth, or higher-quality content at, say, 20% of the bandwidth? Do you think the cablecos would be interested in that? Especially if it didn't cost them anything other than playing nicely with Apple? And, it delivered a superior user experience for the customer?
The solution that I am thinking about involves:
1) an efficient high compression codec
2) a hardware chip (and supporting software/firmware) to efficiently encode and decode the codec
Existing content would have to be re-encoded using the new codec -- a one-time conversion.
Live or new content would be encoded at the time of broadcast or creation.
Nothing would need to be changed between the broadcast source and the broadcast destination: the Apple TV (or HDTV or other STB) -- the digital data would just be compressed to 10%-20% of its current size.
Dictated on my new iPad.

A new compression codec would be nice and would still give them an alternative method of delivery but you have to get all the cable companies to agree. If you target cable your coverage could vary and due to regional community contracts large segments may not have access to both of the now major cable providers. Owning Dish gives them national coverage immediately, plus spectrum that could be leased to a telecom to deliver content to their mobile devices.

Then Apple could negotiate with the Cable providers on more equal footing since they own their own distribution network.

In my mind, the only way that Apple "cracks" the TV is that they eliminate the need for a cable box period. This includes home distribution. The ability to use the new TV as a distribution hub to regular TVs throughout the house via the much smaller Apple TV's I could live with, vs having more, big ugly cable boxes at $5.00-$10.00 per month.

At the very least, the solution must allow me to put my cable box in the basement out of sight. The compression technology then is focused on delivering 1080P wirelessly through the house to the Apple TV.

And, considering the fact that Cable companies advertise VOD through their own interface I don't see Apple getting permission to "re skin" their interface. The way Apple tried to combate this was to go to the networks themselves. They got turned down, so the only other way to deliver the experience they want is to cut out the middleman, and buying Dish would do that.

Of course, Apple could offer the set to the cable companies to "sell" to their customers but that would be a nightmare for customers, no matter how subsidized the set came.

If Apple can't overhaul the experience with the cable box then all they have done is tie in a universal remote with a pretty TV. And that to me isn't a revolution, only a tease of what could have been great.
post #134 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post

I'm sorry, but a DVR would be a fail. While Tivo does a nice job, they have been supplanted by, admitedly, inferior DVR's provided by Cable companies, but I feel purchasing Tivo would only grant them Patents and nothing more. I think in order to control the experience they need to buy the distribution channel, I.E. Dish Network, as I mentioned above. Apple needs to be able to remove the cable box equation. They can do some of that with a Tivo like approach to your cable based subscription, but you would still need the cable box. I'm looking to declutter and remove remotes and boxes.

 

Purchasing Dish would allow them to serve two purposes. No more leasing boxes. The Apple TVs would then become the tuners for other TVs in the house and deliver access to teh same content.

 

But as I said in my post:  "...along with a solid partnership with Time Warner or some other major content providers."

 

It wasn't an either/or proposition. As for the goal of removing STB's and remotes, whether buying the company or licensing the technology, Tivo could be incorporated into a TV set just as easily as the necessary receiver hardware for satellite service. Right now I have a Tivo unit built into my DirecTV receiver. I assume some DISH receivers are roughly the same. I don't really see the distinction. Unless there is a greater reliance on iCloud or iTunes, if I sleep through an F1 race, I want to watch it on DVR/Tivo. The DVR has become a fairly necessary device for me and many others who can't be in front of the set when certain programs are on.

 

But I agree... DISH (or some other) could provide a content pipe for Apple. And whether it's through a purchase or a partnership, Apple would need a pipe of some sort, if what we're thinking is to work. But even though satellite might be something of a solution, not all people want or can have satellite service. But maybe that limitation isn't that great - I'm not sure. And then you have people, such as myself, who wouldn't move from DirecTV to DISH network. But again, I'm not sure how many people fall into that category either. The overriding question is, how many TV's would Apple need to sell to make this (as yet) mythical TV device successful and worthwhile?

 

Even though I really enjoy reading about the concept, making a comment here & there and hearing about the various (very interesting) ideas people have... so far, I haven't read any conceptual idea(s) that convince me that I need to wait before replacing a dying HDTV in the living room. If Apple does it, my hope is they come up with something that wows all of us. If they don't do it... well, it was still fun to talk about.

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post #135 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag_Warrior View Post

But as I said in my post:  "...along with a solid partnership with Time Warner or some other major content providers."

It wasn't an either/or proposition. As for the goal of removing STB's and remotes, whether buying the company or licensing the technology, Tivo could be incorporated into a TV set just as easily as the necessary receiver hardware for satellite service. Right now I have a Tivo unit built into my DirecTV receiver. I assume some DISH receivers are roughly the same. I don't really see the distinction. Unless there is a greater reliance on iCloud or iTunes, if I sleep through an F1 race, I want to watch it on DVR/Tivo. The DVR has become a fairly necessary device for me and many others who can't be in front of the set when certain programs are on.

But I agree... DISH (or some other) could provide a content pipe for Apple. And whether it's through a purchase or a partnership, Apple would need a pipe of some sort, if what we're thinking is to work. But even though satellite might be something of a solution, not all people want or can have satellite service. But maybe that limitation isn't that great - I'm not sure. And then you have people, such as myself, who wouldn't move from DirecTV to DISH network. But again, I'm not sure how many people fall into that category either. The overriding question is, how many TV's would Apple need to sell to make this (as yet) mythical TV device successful and worthwhile?

Even though I really enjoy reading about the concept, making a comment here & there and hearing about the various (very interesting) ideas people have... so far, I haven't read any conceptual idea(s) that convince me that I need to wait before replacing a dying HDTV in the living room. If Apple does it, my hope is they come up with something that wows all of us. If they don't do it... well, it was still fun to talk about.

Agree with about 98% of what you say. Especially with regards to satellite not being a solution for everyone. That is where Dish's wireless spectrum comes into play. Apple would have to strike a deal with AT&T for use of the towers, but Apple could deliver a dedicated media service through that spectrum to the non-dish owners.
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